quinta-feira, 21 de maio de 2009

On Film - Thinking in Action - Stephen Mulhall

Few movies have captured our imagination as deeply and enduringly as those of the ‘Alien’ quartet, which follow the odyssey of Sigourney Weaver’s Flight Lieutenant Ellen Ripley.

In this gripping and limpidly written book, Stephen Mulhall shows why these films fascinate us, by showing that they are compelling examples of philosophy in action.

Bringing a philosopher’s eye to cinema, he argues that the ‘Alien’ films take us deep into the question of what it is to be human.

By developing the sexual significance of the aliens themselves and of Ripley’s resistance to them, these lms explore the relation of human identity to the body, in the context of a hyper-Darwinian universe which both sharpens and subverts the distinction between the natural
and the technological, and which pits the hope of redemption against nihilism.

The book also considers the nature of ‘sequeldom’ in contemporary cinema.
What is the relation between each ‘Alien’ movie’s distinctive plot and the overarching narrative of the ‘Alien’ universe?

How does the work of each director who has contributed to the ‘Alien’ series relate to the themes of their other films, such as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, James Cameron’s Terminator and David Fincher’s Se7en?

On Film is essential reading for anyone interested in film, philosophy and cultural and visual studies, and in the wayphilosophy can enrich our understanding of cinema.


Kane’s Son, Cain’s Daughter:
Ridley Scott’s Alien One
The Alien Cycle of Life
Ripley and Ash
The Education of a Blade Runner
The Mortality of Flesh and Blood
Excursus: The Director’s Cut
Enframing and Acknowledgement

Making Babies: James Cameron’s Aliens Two
Terminating Maternity
Reiterating Family Values: Real and Ideal
Excursus: The Abyss
On Self-termination

Mourning Sickness:
David Fincher’s Alien3 Three
We Commit These Bodies to the Void
We are not What was Intended

The Monster’s Mother:
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien Resurrection Four
Seeing With the Eyes of a Child
Monstrous Children


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